Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tax Dollars at Work

Ahhhh...where to start? Well, I had finally gotten both boys in bed one night earlier this week when I remembered that Rick had picked up some fire logs for me before leaving on a business trip. I went to the garage and pulled out a log, grabbed a flashlight and proceeded to open the flue. I opened and closed it several times just to be on the cautious side--I hadn't started a fire in our fireplace since last year, but I knew the drill. I went about cleaning up the kitchen and thought the smell coming from the fireplace was a little strong (just the paper burning; no big deal). Within a minute, the smoke alarm upstairs was going off. I ran up to turn it off, which took me several minutes--seriously, it was hard-wired (no batteries), I had to pull the wires out! Jack was crying, but I thought I'd go back downstairs and see if I could fix the problem. As I descended the stairs and into a thick blanket of smoke where the first level of my house used to be, I panicked a little. There I was staring into the blazing fire log in my fireplace saying to myself "How do I fix this?" I ran to the phone with fingers shaking: "Nine one one, what's your emergency?" "Fire!" I hear myself say aloud while thinking to myself that this is not the warm, comforting, husband's-out-of-town, kids-are-in-bed, grab-a-glass-of-wine fire I was envisioning just minutes (three, maybe four minutes) ago. The operator connected me to the fire department, and within 30 seconds of hanging up there I was descending those stairs (again) with two sleepy boys in my arms (all my hard work--gone). We headed across the street to our neighbors who lovingly calmed us down...and then proceeded to laugh at us (okay, me). Six fire vehicles later (two large trucks, four cars--all with flashing lights and sirens disrupting the calm of our sleepy neighborhood), the fire chief informed me that I did, indeed, get the flue open...partially. In the end, Jack had a blast watching the vehicles, meeting the firemen, playing with their high-powered flashlights and cameras, and little Sam went back to sleep without a peep--as if all this were normal. Once the trucks were gone, the smoke was cleared (almost), the kids back in bed, I realize that the firemen left my firelog burning for me. But as I sat in front of it with my glass of wine, staring at the charred metal and brick, I thought to myself, "What were they thinking? They left me with an open flame?" And I've never enjoyed a fire less in my life.
The next morning, Jack, Sam and I brought Company 16 four dozen cookies. And that's where I prefer to see firefighters--at the fire station!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow Day!

Yesterday, we woke up to a few inches of snow; schools were cancelled all over the area, and by 9 a.m. the neighborhood was filled with the screams of joyous kids. Jack got a set of sleds for Christmas, and has been eager to try them out. We put Sam down for a nap and headed outside to a small hill in our neighbor's yard. It didn't take long for all the neighbor kids to gather for some sledding fun.

Sam's 9-month Check-up

Our beloved Dr. Wrinkle gave Sam a clean bill of health at his 9-month check-up. Despite a little crabbiness (brought on by not-to-distant memories of syringes from the last time we visited), Sam is a healthy boy. Here are some stats and accomplishments:
*19 lbs., 4 oz.
*28 1/2 inches long
*2 teeth (still!)
*says "night-night"
*pulls up on everything and even lets go sometimes (can stand unassisted for a few seconds)
*crawls up the entire staircase by himself
*walks with push toys
*eats a ton of food! (scrambled eggs, cheerios, veggies, fruits, macaroni and cheese, waffles, yogurt, crackers, etc.)
*loves digging in dirt and pine needles

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Fine Ride

The scooter he told three different Santas about--by far the most anticipated Christmas gift--has lived up to its billing. Jack is extremely adept and agile when it comes to controlling this little vehicle. As requested by Grandma, here is a video of him scootin' along.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Rat Basketball?

We took Friday morning to travel (by light rail) uptown to Discovery Place. Thanks to everyone who gave the boys cash for Christmas, we were able to purchase a 29-month membership to Discovery Place (a kids' science museum). Jackson and friend, Noah, cheered on Ricotta and Pepper Jack (the two rats who faced off in Rat Basketball), and then we headed downstairs to the aquarium and playroom. The kids always love riding the train (no carseats!), which made this trip all the more fun.


Uncle Jason and Aunt Traci gave this very cool easel to Jackson for Christmas. He has already gotten a lot of use out of it! Our neighbors (who have four teenagers) gave Jack this shirt as a smock of sorts (although it is starting to fit him! I think it might be all those long naps!). He's learning how to mix the primary colors to create secondary colors and enjoys using paintbrushes and his fingers.

My Future's So Bright...

...I gotta wear shades! Grandma sent some fun sunglasses for the kids for Christmas. We tried to get a picture of all four in their glasses, but you can probably guess how that went. Here they are individually--minus Averi, who was too fast for the camera.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Jack and Averi had a great time baking a cake for Jesus' birthday. With Aunt Traci's help, they poured ingredients and mixed batter on Christmas Eve. Then, we all enjoyed some birthday cake after lunch on Christmas day. After some discussion about how many candles should be placed on the cake, the three older kids each blew out one candle, symbolizing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (thank you, Uncle Jason!).

Four Little Monkeys

Over Christmas, of all four kids, Jackson was the star napper. Many days, we were all waiting for Jack to wake up to start an afternoon activity. Averi, Lucas and Sam were anxious to get moving when we snapped this picture of all of them jumping in his bed.